This is the 30-year anniversary of the Gulf War, the military operation to reverse Iraq’s August 1990 invasion of Kuwait.
Garfield Teixeria, an Aviation and Missile Command logistics management specialist, served in Desert Storm with the 44th Medical Brigade.
After being in the Army and receiving four years of training, he was slated to deploy in support of the mission after relocating from South Korea to Fort Benning, Georgia.
“At the time I was young and naïve,” Teixeria said. “Panama kicked off when I was in Korea, so my whole mentality being in the military was like training to be in the playoffs – and when there’s a conflict, that’s the playoffs. So I was excited and looking forward to going to Saudi Arabia.”
Teixeria spent most of his time during Desert Storm in Saudi Arabia. He mentioned that he went north into the desert before the ground attack.
A few memorable moments from his time being deployed still stick with him to this day.
“During deployment everyone became closer and a little more personal,” Teixeria said. “The people that I was with I didn’t really know them as I came from Korea and within a month I was deployed. It was new for everyone – the camaraderie, the way we came together and the support and the support from each other’s family.”
While reminiscing about his time in Desert Storm he also talked about how technology and the ability to connect to others abroad was not as convenient as present day.
He remembered how he had to wait in line to call his family and friends back home.
“Back then we had to travel to get to a phone, so once a week or once every two weeks – based on mission it was exciting to get in the line,” he said. “That line might have been a half-a-mile long to make a phone call back home. That sticks out a lot – just making that trip because then there was no Internet or social media. My son is a lieutenant downrange and we can FaceTime (now), but we didn’t have that back then.”
Teixeria said he is proud to have been a part of this major conflict which happened more than 30 years ago.
“That was the biggest buildup of troops outside of the U.S.,” he said. “So everywhere we turned in Saudi Arabia it looked like we took over the country because the areas we were in you would turn and see military vehicles and personnel. The Saudi Arabian rulers would set up big picnics for us and have tents of food so we could come and eat.”
For Teixeria, deploying in support of Desert Storm was a major determining factor for him staying in longer and retiring after 22 years of service.
“Some of the people I was with were coming up on 20 years,” he said. “We had a lieutenant colonel that served in the Vietnam War and just listening to those stories I wanted to have that effect on Soldiers later on by having that experience. Of course when (family sits) around on Thanksgiving, they tell me I always have a story for everything,” he said with a chuckle.
“It’s a good feeling to know that I was a part of Desert Storm.”